Golden larches up in Larch Valley.
Moraine Lake, Alberta
Photo Credit: Billie Norman
Brewing beer in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
Tucked away on the second floor of a very Swiss looking building along Banff Ave stands a brewery churning out the best beer in town. Banff Ave. Brewing Co have been getting people merry since 2010. The three co-founders started their first brewery venture in 2005 in Jasper, when one of the guys got lucky and won the lottery. Suddenly, there were few limitations on making their brewery dream come true.
Head Brewer, Kent Boomer, was on hand to give us a tour of the place and teach us a thing or two about the brewing process. It all begins with barley, imported from Europe, which is roasted to turn it into malt. This malt is poured into the mill which feeds into the mashtun (a specialized brewing container). In the mashtun, malt is stirred into hot water with nothing other than a canoe paddle. Banff life. During the mashing process, enzymes in the malt converts starches into sugars creating wort. This wort is put into the boiling kettle and hops are added as need be. Next is the fermentation process where yeast is added to the wort and left for various days depending on what is being brewed. After this is complete, the yeast is extracted for future use. The yeast at the brewery leads a very Banff lifestyle... It parties like crazy for a week, sleeps for two days and then does it all over again. Sound familiar?! The beer is then put into a conditioning tank where it matures. From here, the beer is carbonated and ready to be served straight to the in-house taps, just 65 feet away. Now that’s fresh.
Enjoy a fruity Pond Hockey Pale Ale, hoppy Head Smashed IPA or, the local's favourite, Black Pilsner. Check out the community taps for some interesting collaborations and feel good knowing that $1 is donated to specific causes in the Bow Valley. You can even take some home with you in a growler or a pre-packaged bottle.
Oh and we should probably let you know... $4 pints on Mondays and $8 steins on Thursdays.